"I just know for myself, I struggle with so much trauma. I struggle with so many demons every single day. And that’s okay. That’s okay, but I want us to begin to create spaces where we can gently love ourselves more so that we can love each other more and really lift each other up and really support each other. I think sometimes we have trouble doing that because we really don’t love ourselves enough. If I’m not loving myself, I want to run the other way from somebody who looks like me and who has a similar experience."
39. I regret that I didn’t negotiate, that I accepted the first offer most of the time. As someone who grew up poor and eloquently shifted into broke as an adult, I felt like “Hey, I’m lucky enough to get paid to do this amazing job, so whatever they offer is perfect!” NO. You’re never going to reach the realm of $100K with that attitude. I greatly undervalued myself when I was starting out. NEGOTIATE. A key part of negotiating is talking to other writers — if you know other writers personally don’t be afraid to ask what they got paid for that one article, or how much specific publishers pay in general. If you don’t know any other writers, you should contact the editor you want to pitch to and ask for their rates. This information will always change based on the person or assignment, so try to talk to people doing similar work; Malcolm Gladwell could write 400 words on a piece of toilet paper and get paid more than I earn in a year, so don’t ask him to be your baseline, you know? Unless he’s your uncle or something, I don’t know your life. I regularly reach out to other writers when I’m pitching a new publication they’ve worked for, and it helps me know what to expect when I’m negotiating.
—Danielle Henderson, writer
this whole list is great and full of really practical advice for anyone who struggles to feel like their voice is valid or their talent is necessary in a crowd of otherwise mostly likeminded/looking colleagues, but this last point in particular i had to call out on its own for being so, so correct.
Can't just be happy they're doing something nice. You gotta get pissy
I’m assuming this is in response to my reblog, which was hardly “pissy” but more of a gentle ribbing, about Panic!’s offer to make a donation to HRC for each WBC protester that turned out to picket their recent show.
Yes, it’s cute and nice of them to make a gesture like that, and it’s good press and a quick, tweetable jab at the WBC for their ridiculous antics, but it’s hardly the best they could do. There are any number of LGBT organizations that they (or their accountant, or whoever) could have picked with just the barest minimum of effort and research that are more worthy and do more actual work.
HRC is a brand, and a very-well known one, which is of course why people think of them and their stupid equals sign logo first. But they’re notorious political starfuckers who do nothing with their notoriety but throw self-congratulatory parties that raise millions, while throwing other LGBT orgs, who do the actual work, under the bus.
$1,000 to HRC is nothing but a tweet and a blip in their bottomless bucket of booze money. This emergency shelter for LGBT youth in Nashville, which recently received funds from Jack Antonoff and fun.’s Ally Coalition, can provide two weeks of emergency shelter and six weeks of counseling to a critically disenfranchised young person for around that much, or 36 survival backpacks for kids living on the street.
A long, long time ago, Benoit Denizet-Lewis and I took a gay history class together at Northwestern, where I remember him being this vaguely skate punk kind of gay guy that was not particularly prevalent in the midwest. I was a cranky queer activist/journalist in training and am pretty sure I was mostly a complete nightmare to everyone around me. (Neither of us ever made it into the still-controversial classroom of sociology professor Michael Bailey, though.)
It’s been great ever since to watch Benoit tackle all kinds of immersive stories about subcultures—mostly communities or behaviors on the brink of getting their moment in mainstream media sun. (Remember teenagers and the “group hang”?)
His new book is about dog culture in America, but really it’s about people and how crazy we are about dogs (spoiler alert: a lot). I asked him 10 questions for OUT about how he almost quit being a writer to work rescuing strays, whether it’s OK to judge people for not liking dogs, the pushback to his most recent NYT cover story about bisexuality research, and how the lucky jerk is going to have an article he wrote about an ex-gay friend turned into a movie starring James Franco and Zachary Quinto.
Read it at OUT.com.
I told bookclub I would make a list, so why not make it now, when I am hysterical from lack of sleep because I stayed up rereading Elizabeth Wein’s incredible book from midnight until 5am?
- This is a book about two young women who are brave and smart and who love each other and who love their people and who risk everything to fight the Nazis.
- This is a book about bravery in the face of terror, but it’s not at all stolid and it’s not just solid, it’s also really fucking smart.
- Like, seriously. This book is not going to let you off easy, ever. It’s probably smarter than you. It’s definitely smarter than me.
- Have I mentioned I love unreliable narrators?
- ROMANTIC FRIENDSHIPS 101: lists this book should be on.
- It’s also really fucking funny sometimes. Yes, this novel is the confession of a British spy captured by the Gestapo in occupied France. But dang does she have a biting sense of humor.
- This is a book conscious of class issues. It addresses them head-on. I’m not British and I definitely don’t know enough about the British class system before and during WWII to say whether its commentary is correct or incisive enough - but I will say that I was impressed with its baldness about how the system operates. “Maddie was trained to react positively to orders from people in authority.” Yeah, that. In a contemporary and widely recced YA novel.
- THIS BOOK DOES NOT TALK DOWN TO ITS AUDIENCE EVER. Much like The Book Thief, to which it’s constantly compared, its explicit dealing with desperate subjects (and its great writing!) could have gotten it shelved in the adult lit section instead of YA. But it’s been written and marketed as YA, and I’m so fiercely glad of that, because teenagers face the horrible things talked about in the book, and they deserve an author who won’t sugar coat or pretend they don’t. So, trigger warning: this book talks about torture. It alludes to sexualized torture. It alludes to suicide. There’s non-consensual groping, and the very present threat of rape. This is a story about a spy held in enemy territory by secret police who are trying to extract information from her. It’s really fucking terrifying, and the book never shies away from that. It is also very respectful of its subject, painfully accurate, and not voyeuristic.
- Plus, it’s nuanced. How often do we get narratives that give us the grays we need and want? Welp, start here.
- It never pretends there are only British or American or white male resistance fighters or resistance leaders. This is a book that’s smart about how oppression works. “It’s a white man’s world:” that’s going to get said, but not just for the benefit of a WASP woman.
- NO BUT HONESTLY THESE CHARACTERS ARE SO SPLENDID AND CLEVER AND WELL-ROUNDED AND I CRIED NINE TIMES ON REREADING THIS BOOK AND I JUST CAN’T WITH THESE FEELINGS????????
- The revolution is an act of love. This story lives and breathes and deeply, deeply understands that.
speaking of reading YA - I feel like soemily hounded me to read this book (though really all she did was be excited about how great it was) and not surprising at all but SHE WAS SO RIGHT. it’s great.
"There will inevitably come a season for serious and adult contemplation — for piecing together a provisional pattern of meaning with the sharp shards of loss. There are plenty of literary works that offer this and only this. But a young adult novel also knows when to say: Whatever! Willful wish-fulfillment is what life is for."
Frankie Valenti Sheds His Porn Past
“I’m going to see how this project is perceived and what the response is, and then I’ll figure it out from there,” he says of his leading man debut in Tiger Orange, which is premiering at OutFest.
I had an interesting chat with Frankie aka Johnny Hazzard about life after porn when you reach the end of your shelf life. Check it out.
I thought he was really good in this movie, which is about two gay brothers after their dad dies. It takes place mostly in a small town in central California, is beautifully shot, and sort of unexpectedly quiet and then loud and then quiet again. (I am unfamiliar with Frankie’s earlier work! But his face and the way he moves his body so impatiently are both great in this film.)
I asked for something different. still not sure what it will be! thanks @mimacathy for the vermouth
liseusester and mck-scribe tagged me and I have been thinking a lot about books lately, so here goes.
Rules: In a text post, list ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” or “great” works,…
i got tagged in this (though it didn’t show up in my activity this time? idk, tumblr) and was halfway through answering when i realized i really had already answered here. (for what it’s worth the 5 books i’d already listed were all on this list, too, so points for consistency?)
when i was growing up in new york and connecticut i imagined california as looking like this. palm trees and architecture that looked nothing like the center hall colonials of connecticut or the tenements and skyscrapers of nyc.
and then when i first started coming to l.a i was amazed that this was a CITY but that people primarily lived in houses. and granted, many of the houses in l.a are kind of ugly and beige.
but then there are these perfect little jewel box mid century houses, reminding me of my post-adolescent l.a/california visions. and i guess one could argue that architecturally these mcm houses aren’t as arbitrary as norman castles or swiss chalet in the desert.
i mean, architecture like this opens itself to the outdoors but keeps the sun at bay when necessary. and it has the quasi-privacy screen, sort of saying ‘well, we like our privacy, but it’s ok if you peek a little bit’. the paradox of exhibitionist privacy.